BIODIVERSITY IS EVERYONES BUSINESS
Australia has a unique biodiversity which is a major source of sustenance, health, well-being and recreation for us all, and we have a responsibility to preserve and protect it for future generations of Australians to appreciate and enjoy.
“About 84 per cent of our plants, 83 per cent of our mammals, and 45 per cent of our birds are endemic;
they are only found in Australia.”
Sadly, Australian biodiversity faces many threats and the number one threat today is habitat loss which occurs through the process of fragmentation. Our already heavily modified landscape continues to be fragmented by clearing for urban development and agriculture.
Linear infrastructure is a pervasive part of our modified landscape and is heavily responsible for the division of habitat into smaller fragments. Fragmentation due to linear infrastructure is in part being mitigated by the installation of wildlife crossing structures (culverts, underpasses, overpasses, canopy bridges) across several different types of linear infrastructure to facilitate the safe crossing of wildlife over or under it and in the case of roads and railways, preventing collision with vehicles.
These areas of connectivity across the landscape also known as habitat corridors link up areas of animal and plant populations that would otherwise be isolated and at greater risk of local extinction. They support natural processes including the movement of species to find food and water, and they increase population viability.
Road builders, road funders, road owners and road construction and management agencies have a responsibility to meet legislative requirements, and are under constant pressure, to protect our unique habitat from becoming endangered or extinct. From their perspective it is important to design and implement effective mitigating measures that will decrease the fragmentation effects of linear infrastructure and increase population viability.
The Department of Environment and Energy recommend numerous ways individuals and communities can help protect biodiversity in their local area:
For more information on biodiversity and biodiversity-related programs visit http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity